The SSTFI is having to make some serious decisions this year due to the loss of sponsorship. Please note this is not due to the sponsors thinking your students are not a worthy cause it is due to the economic climate causing some sponsors to restrict or even to be unable to give sponsorship dollars. This, in addition to the increase in exhibitor numbers, is causing us to rethink certain areas of the fair.
To help with the monetary shortfall we will NOT be offering a FREE luncheon for the Senior High students on Saturday. We will still offer the luncheon as an option – but it will not be mandatory – students are not required to eat the luncheon. We will keep the same pasta buffet that we have offered in the past that includes a vegetarian option. Students are allowed to take what they want and may have seconds if any remains. However, we will now charge a small amount for the meal to help cover costs. We will be asking $5.00/student ($7.00/adult) to help cover the meal cost. (The actual cost of the meal is $13.50 per person). If this is not acceptable for a school you are free to find other options for your student(s). You may NOT bring outside food into Scheman or Hilton. However, students may eat on the steps or lawn.
You do not need to register in advance to eat – students will be able to pay anytime on Friday at the registration desk in Hilton (preferably AFTER registration) or they can pay on Saturday in line. Students will be given a ticket to use to enter the buffet line. Again, the pasta meal includes a couple types of pasta, a couple types of sauce (one or more vegetarian), a salad, bread sticks and a drink (tea or lemonade). Teachers and adult sponsors are welcome to eat with their students for the adult cost of $7.00. Our scholarship sponsors have been invited to the luncheon and they will be eating with the students during this time as well (they of course are our guests).
We will also not be providing the cookie break on Friday for the Senior High. They will still have a break time but we will not be providing refreshments. If enough of you think your students would like something set out for a small snack (cookies and lemonade) we would have to charge a small fee ($2/$3).
IF you have a significant number of students who will NOT be attending the luncheon please let me know so I have a better idea of the amount of food to order. It will not help our bottom line if suddenly half of the students don’t eat but I still order the food.
I realize many of you already have budgets set for the event and we are very sorry for this last minute notice. We wanted to wait on some additional sponsorship requests. Please know we have been submitting and reaching out to new sponsors but it takes time and lots of no’s sometimes before finding a new supporter. We will not take anything away from the awards that go to students and will do everything we can to keep the event free of across the board registration costs. There are some things we may end up cutting next year that were already ordered for this year. We looked at what would affect the fewest students. Rather than cutting the entire meal since it is such a tight time frame we want to continue to offer it just at a small cost that would be similar to eating out at a fast food establishment.
We ask for your understanding in this. It is our goal to continue to strive to make the fair a positive and educational experience for all students.
IF you have students attending the luncheon who may have food allergies or restrictions or need a gluten free meal please let me know and we can have this ordered.
For more information regarding the SSTFI please visit our website at www.sciencefairofiowa.org